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Insight: As Ukraine looks west to Europe, Russia's shadow looms
Reuters ^ | October 1, 2013 | Luke Baker and Justyna Pawlak

Posted on 10/06/2013 12:51:24 PM PDT by 1rudeboy

Put out by Europe's efforts to build closer relations with six countries in east Europe and the Caucasus - former Soviet republics that Russia regards as in its sphere of influence - Moscow has been steadily turning up the heat.

[]

The big question is Ukraine, economically and politically the most important of the partnership countries. Despite pressure on trade, including key gas supplies from Russia, which sees Ukraine as culturally its own, Kiev is determined to look West and seal closer links to Europe next month.

That's not what Moscow wants to hear, or will accept.

"What we have seen during the past few weeks is brutal Russian pressure against the partnership countries of a sort that we haven't seen in Europe for a very long time," said Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt last month, describing Moscow's actions as "economic warfare".

Russia has said it is merely protecting its interests. "Russia is in no way trying to infringe on anyone's sovereign right to make decisions about their international activity," President Vladimir Putin said in September.

Nearly all the partnership countries do the vast majority of their trade with Russia and rely on it for gas. Moscow is concerned about a flood of European goods entering the country if Kiev signs a free trade agreement with the EU.

Trade is particularly sensitive: Russia was Ukraine's biggest trading partner but not any longer. Now it is the EU, with 27 percent of Ukraine's exports and 34 percent of its imports, and the volume growing by double digits annually.

(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Russia
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 10/06/2013 12:51:24 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

remember the Holydor


2 posted on 10/06/2013 1:14:06 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: 1rudeboy

Europe’s a mess. Why would the Ukraine want to end up owned by German banks?


3 posted on 10/06/2013 1:15:13 PM PDT by grania
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To: grania

That leads to an important question: perhaps it would be better if Ukraine ended up being owned by Russian banks.


4 posted on 10/06/2013 1:16:21 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

The Ukraine took the worst of the German invasion. They have no love of Russia other than the millions of troops they poured in to retake it, and it wasn’t pretty.


5 posted on 10/06/2013 1:22:37 PM PDT by TheRhinelander
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To: 1rudeboy

some things never change
the Ukraine (”Europe’s bread basket,” has some energy and mining resources, serves as Russia’s route to its big naval base on the Black Sea (and thus is Russia’s major path into the Mediterranean), and happens (like Afghanistan and like Syria) to sit on land which the major energy powers want to build big pipelines on. If the “wrong” pipeline ever gets built, Russia could lose its dominant supply position vis-a-vis Europe. Plus, there are a lot of Russians living in the Ukraine, plus there is a (not altogether pleasant) history between Russia and Ukraine (as there is between Ukraine and Germany, which is the leading component of any European-Eukranian linkup).

World War 2 redux, without (for now, anyway) the bullets...


6 posted on 10/06/2013 1:33:00 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (Er)
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To: faithhopecharity

it’s about the port. they already have an agreement with Russia. the Ukraine is simply not independent.


7 posted on 10/06/2013 1:41:36 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Sacajaweau

Ukraine may need to be split up, it’s mostly Russians in the Eastern portion of the country.

Crimea is a real sticky wicket, as well. 60% there are ethnic Russians.


8 posted on 10/06/2013 1:47:20 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

I suppose you could say that California needs to be split up as well.


9 posted on 10/06/2013 1:48:53 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

A lot of places could stand to be “Split up.” IF that’s what it takes to keep the peace.


10 posted on 10/06/2013 1:50:18 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

Even the Ukrainian president Yanukovich who is pro-Russian and is from eastern Ukraine wants economic ties with Europe and not Russia. Its not about language, its about economics.


11 posted on 10/06/2013 2:47:53 PM PDT by tlozo
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To: tlozo

It’s also because Putin’s mafia have acted so brazenly that the mafia running Ukraine (and Bielorussia) have to be afraid of being displaced by Putin’s cronies— Russian aggressiveness once again backfires.


12 posted on 10/06/2013 2:50:48 PM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: pierrem15

Don’t know much about Ukraine. They should hate the Russians after what Stalin did. What else is there to know?


13 posted on 10/06/2013 4:57:32 PM PDT by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: DIRTYSECRET

It started long before the Communists.


14 posted on 10/06/2013 8:41:00 PM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: grania
The better option would be Międzymorze -- a conservative confederation of Central and Eastern European states from Finland to Romania
15 posted on 10/07/2013 4:17:11 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: faithhopecharity
"Russians living in Ukraine" -- the problem is that there is only a slight distinction between the two, and between them and Belarussians, due to history.

Prior to the Mongol invasions, these 3 were all "Eastern Slavs" speaking more or less the same language but with multiple dialects -- all Kievan Rus

Then the Mongols came and destroyed the various statelets of K.R. and in the west the Lithuanians took their opportunity and took Belarus and western Ukraine. This later came under Polish influence when Poland and Lithuania formed their commonwealth (which lasted for nearly 400 years).

At the same time, Muscowy, once just a creation of Vladimir-Suzdal, came to prominence thanks to canny Arch-dukes who became the tax-collectors for the Great Khan, built up influence and 100 years later defeated the great horde

After a period of time they absorbed the Mongols and Tartars -- arguably the Muscowite form of despotism is Mongol in continuation.

The Western parts were border lands (u kraina, on the edge) between the definitely western countries of Poland and Hungary and the definitely eastern Muscowy.

Then in 1791 Poland was wiped out from existence and the Muscowites absorbed it. From this point on the various East Slavic dialects disappeared slowly but not completely

So now, what is a Russian and what is a Ukrainian or Belarussian? There is no difference in race or ethnicity and only slight difference in language -- the 3 languages are dialects of each other and mutually (well more or less) understandable).

16 posted on 10/07/2013 4:23:09 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: pierrem15; DIRTYSECRET; dfwgator
Lots of things to know about the Ukraine (see my post above)

also note that Stalin and most of his cohorts were Georgian or related (which is one of the gripes of modern day Russians -- but they also forget that Stalin wanted to demolish all nationalities and replace it with Russian -- a complex chap

17 posted on 10/07/2013 4:55:51 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: pierrem15; DIRTYSECRET; dfwgator

Finally, also note that whatever evil the Russian rulers inflicted on others, they inflicted the same on their own populace.


18 posted on 10/07/2013 4:56:23 AM PDT by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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To: tlozo
Bandyukovich is not prorussian, he is pro his own money in Western banks like rest of Ukraine elite. Ukraine industry is of no use to EU, so it will disappear when Russia will stop to buy it. In USSR times it was main industrial republic, in EU it will be sort of banana republic of dubious economic value. Agriculture does not produce enough jobs for populace, so depopulation will continue at higher rate. They economic and demography loss since 1991 is worse than in WWII
19 posted on 10/07/2013 10:21:46 PM PDT by Cossak
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